How to Learn from Successful Leaders

By: Together Abroad 16-04-2018

Categories:* Daily employment news, ** HR Leaders Talk,

How to Learn from Successful Leaders

“Who is your role model?” is a popular interview question candidates encounter during a job interview. Interviewers can determine a lot though this question by looking at the attributes and characteristics that inspire a candidate in their career; typically, one may describe a mentor, friend or supervisor who has the desirable qualities such as determination, intelligence, good work ethic and kindness. In a lot of cases, these values are taken from successful leaders and can help one to shape themselves in their own path to success. This is true, even for those who do not necessarily wish to be leaders themselves, but wish to excel in any job they do.

One misconception is that successful leaders have a secret strategy to guarantee one’s own success, and while it is true that they can offer some insight into the road to success, it is important to realise that personal failures can play an equally significant role in carving one’s future. One quote commonly attributed to Winston Churchill is “Success is ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” This means putting in honest hard work while following one’s ambitions, even if they may present a risk. Many successful leaders also have their own stories of personal failures, and willingness to fail eventually leads to success. Bill Gates himself once started a company called Traf-O-Data that aimed to process and analyse data from traffic tapes, but the product did not work as intended and was ultimately a failure. However, this proved a valuable experience for Gates moving forward, as he moved on to create his first Microsoft product that sparked his phenomenal success.

Any good leader can also teach the importance of teamwork as a means to one’s success. Successful leaders never work as lone wolves to chase their ambitions. It takes a unified team to make the most of various talents to reach a common goal. One example of this is the Google team that started out in a campus bedroom, but the point is that good leaders choose to surround themselves with talented and motivated individuals, while also seeking out unique insight and encouragement of others. This also goes to show that even leaders sometimes need to draw inspiration and motivation from others to push themselves forwards. The ability to work within a team is also an important skill in general that most companies look for in their employees.

One thing to note is that any success story should be taken with a pinch of salt. The success of any leader cannot formulate a magic path to success that anyone can follow. Ultimately, it is up to an individual to draw what inspiration they feel is helpful, whether it is a trait or characteristic they feel they lack or the confidence and ambition to follow the career path they feel is right for them. Even the most successful leaders can draw important inspiration from others; Bill gates was inspired by Dr Henry Edward Roberts, who invented the successful Altair 8800 personal computer. This drove Gates to follow his own desire to found Microsoft and earn his own success in the personal computer market. The main point is that leader inspiration can be a very personal thing where individuals can draw inspiration that they feel is uniquely relevant to them and what they wish to achieve.

Written for Edward Mah by Together Abroad